Month: August 2017

5 ways to start investing in real estate — even if you’ve never invested before

By Arielle O’Shea, NerdWallet

If you’ve ever had a landlord, you probably don’t dream of being one: Fielding calls about oversize bugs and overflowing toilets doesn’t seem like the most glamorous job.

But done right, real estate investment can be lucrative, if not flashy. It can help diversify your existing investment portfolio and be an additional income stream. And it doesn’t always require showing up at a tenant’s every beck and call.

The trouble is that many new investors don’t know where or how to invest in real estate. So here are five options, ranging from high maintenance to low.

Real estate can be lucrative when done right. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

1. Invest in rental properties

Tiffany Alexy didn’t intend to become a real estate investor when she bought her first rental property at age 21. Then a college senior in Raleigh, North Carolina, she planned to attend grad school locally and figured buying would be better than renting.

“I went on Craigslist and found a four-bedroom, four-bathroom condo that was set up student-housing style. I bought it, lived in one bedroom and rented out the other three,” Alexy says.

The setup covered all of her expenses and brought in an extra $100 per month in cash — far from chump change for a grad student, and enough that Alexy caught the real estate bug. Now age 27, she has five rentals and is a broker and owner of Alexy Realty Group in Raleigh.

Alexy entered the market using a strategy sometimes called house hacking, a term coined by BiggerPockets, an online resource for real estate investors. It essentially means you’re occupying your investment property, either by renting out rooms, as Alexy did, or by renting out units in a multi-unit building. David Meyer, vice president of growth and marketing at the site, says house hacking lets investors buy a property with up to four units and still qualify for a residential loan.

Of course, you can also buy and rent out an entire investment property. Find one with combined expenses lower than the amount you can charge in rent. And if you don’t want to be the person who shows up with a toolbelt to fix a leak — or even the person who calls that person — you’ll also need to pay a property manager.

“If you manage it yourself, you’ll learn a lot about the industry, and if you buy future properties you’ll go into it with more experience,” says Meyer.

2. Fix up and resell properties

This is HGTV come to life: You purchase an underpriced home in need of a little love, renovate it as inexpensively as possible and then resell it for a profit. Called house flipping, the strategy is a wee bit harder than it looks on TV.

“There is a bigger element of risk, because so much of the math behind flipping requires a very accurate estimate of how much repairs are going to cost, which is not an easy thing to do,” says Meyer.

His suggestion: Find an experienced partner. “Maybe you have capital or time to contribute, but you find a contractor who is good at estimating expenses or managing the project,” he says.

The other risk of flipping is that the longer you hold the property, the less money you make because you’re paying a mortgage without bringing in any income. You can lower that risk by living in the house as you fix it up. This works as long as most of the updates are cosmetic and you don’t mind a little dust.

Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for FMB Development

3. Use a crowdfunding service

If you’re familiar with companies such as Prosper and LendingClub — which connect borrowers to investors willing to lend them money for various personal needs, such as a wedding or home renovation — you’ll understand the concept behind investing through a real estate crowdfunding site.

Companies including RealtyShares and RealtyMogul connect real estate developers to investors who want to finance projects, either through debt or equity. Investors hope to receive monthly or quarterly distributions in exchange for taking on a significant amount of risk and paying a fee to the platform. Like many real estate investments, these are speculative and illiquid — you can’t easily unload them the way you can trade a stock.

The rub is that you need money to make money. Real estate crowdfunding is generally open only to accredited investors, defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission as people who’ve earned income of more than $200,000 ($300,000 with a spouse) in each of the last two years or have a net worth of $1 million or more, not including a primary residence.

4. REITs

REITs, or real estate investment trusts, allow you to invest in real estate without the physical real estate. Often compared to mutual funds, they’re companies that own commercial real estate such as office buildings, retail spaces, apartments and hotels.

REITs tend to pay high dividends, which makes them a good investment in retirement. Investors who don’t need or want the regular income can automatically reinvest those dividends to grow their investment further.

REITs can be varied and complex. Some trade on an exchange like a stock; others aren’t publicly traded. The type of REIT you purchase can be a big factor in the amount of risk you’re taking on, as non-traded REITs aren’t easily sold and might be hard to value.

New investors should generally stick to publicly traded REITs, which you can purchase through an online broker. (See the NerdWallet analysis of the best brokers for beginners if you’re new to this world.)

5. Rent out a room

Finally, to dip the very edge of your toe in the real estate waters, you could rent part of your home via a site like Airbnb. It’s house hacking for the commitment-phobe: You don’t have to take on a long-term tenant, potential renters are at least somewhat prescreened by Airbnb, and the company’s host guarantee provides protection against damages.

Advertisements

The Work Triangle: Outdated Design Myth or Absolute Must-Have?

by Dabney Frake

 

There are few words whispered with more veneration than ‘the kitchen work triangle’ — a decades-old term that still dominates kitchen design today. But does it still hold true in the modern world? Before you start your next remodel, get the latest thinking on layouts and decide what’s best for you.

The Original Work Triangle

Above, a classic work triangle from Anne and Richard’s galley-shaped Manhattan kitchen. (Image credit: Jill Slater)
As Nancy recently wrote in her series on 100 Years in the Kitchen, the concept came about in the 1940s, based on industrial motion studies aimed at increased efficiency. The work triangle was born, comprising your kitchen’s heavy appliance hitters — the sink, refrigerator, and stove — spaced equilaterally apart.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

In this layout, the thinking went, the cook didn’t have to go far: simply pivot from place to place as you moved through food prep and cooking. No need to walk clear across the room while carrying a heavy pot if the sink is right within reach. It makes a ton of sense and is a design which guides many kitchens in use today, as seen in Lori’s L-shaped kitchen above. The refrigerator, on the opposite wall out of the frame, forms a perfect triangle with the stove and sink.

A Cultural Shift

Cooking is a family affair in Natalie & Bobby,’s “Country Modern” Texas home. (Image credit: Cody Hamilton)

When the triangle came about, kitchens were mostly separate rooms or semi-closed off from the rest of the house. Housewives worked there to prepare the meal and emerged to the dining room to sit down and eat with the family in the evening. In today’s world, the kitchen is more of a relaxed hub, with more people likely to be in there at once. Guests often sit to chat with the cook (or multiple cooks) while they work, or kids might congregate there to do their homework.

Jennifer’s huge rustic great room has a kitchen with at least three distinct zones: cooking, cleaning, and food storage.  (Image credit: Sarita Relis | Apartment Therapy)
Just as families these days are far from cookie cutter, so is true with home design, with kitchens themselves varying widely as well. Many kitchens are now exposed via an open floor plan, plus they are (on average) just plain larger than in the past, often with kitchen islands, multiple ovens, wine coolers, and microwaves. The original triangle — while once the norm —is now stretched beyond recognition.
In Matt & Amanda’s long kitchen, the triangle is still in play. But the dishwasher is right next to the sink for easy rinsing and loading,
which also adheres to the concept of the work zones. (Image credit: Marisa Vitale)
To adapt, some kitchen design experts recommend a focus on zones, where individual “stations” fulfill different activities, like cooking, prepping, cleaning, and food storage. Like the triangle, this approach also focuses on workflow: store the proper equipment and supplies in their respective zones and you’re less apt to waste time tracking them down. For example, prepping might happen next to the trash or compost where it’s easy to dispose of scraps.
(Image credit: Cleary O’Farrell)
With the zone approach, you also avoid bumping elbows with others who share the same space, but are doing something completely different. In Emily and Kai’s kitchenabove, the fridge and pantry storage is separate from the cooking and cleaning space, which means kids won’t be underfoot as they grab something to eat or drink.

So what’s the best, most effective, method? Instead of throwing the triangle concept out the window, the kitchen zone opens it up a bit for interpretation. The most important thing is asking what your space will allow for, who will use it, how you will use it, and how it can best be configured to meet your needs.

What do you think? In your kitchen, is the triangle obsolete, or has it just taken on a different form?

 

BUILT-IN BREAKFAST NOOK

When we purchased this East Nashville project house earlier this spring, one of the things that first drew us to the property was this little room off the kitchen that was just BEGGING to become a built-in breakfast nook!

Here’s the before photo …

Isn’t the upgrade amazing?!

For this post, we partnered with Walls Need Love. They have beautiful options for removable wallpaper, murals and wall decals. We chose the Ida Removable Wallpaper for our nook.

I don’t normally wallpaper ceilings, but in this tight space it creates a high impact, pulled together look. I am BEYOND pleased with how this turned out. And the best part is you can install this wallpaper yourself in a weekend.

The first step for this project was to build three benches, customized for the space. Collin removed the trim in the space, framed out the base of the benches and then added the seat back last.

The next step was to build the table. We’re not going to full DIY instructions (although let us know if you’d like to hear them all in a separate post), but Collin built a farmhouse-style table, perfectly fitted for the benches. The table top is about two inches smaller than the floor space between the benches.

If there are any vents or outlets on the wall, they should be extended to outside of the bench, not covered up.

For paint, Collin used two coats of stain blocking primer and then two coats of glossy untinted acrylic paint.

The next step was to install the wallpaper.

Our best tip is to be patient. Collin started by installing one strip from the front of the ceiling all the way down the back of the wall, and then worked out from there. For a continuous pattern, you can’t make it match from every angle, so we prioritized the front facing angle. The sides of the wall to ceiling don’t match, but the pattern hides it very well.

Last, Collin installed a fresh new light fixture.

When shopping for wallpaper, always order samples. I always order way too many samples, but it’s helpful because some of the time they look different in person. Samples can also help you get an idea of scale.

Wallpaper – Ida Removable Wallpaper by Walls Need Love, Light – Luna Pendant in Black by Schoolhouse Electric.

I’m happy we went neutral in this space because I can style it with pillows, flowers and baskets to reflect each season. I am SO EXCITED to have guests stay in our new home and I hope they love it as much as we do!

My partner in crime was in town and got to see our new property for the first time. I bribed her with some cinnamon rolls to snap a few photos … always works!

I hope this post has inspired you and shown what a HUGE transformation a little wallpaper can make! It made this space so much more thoughtful looking. It would have been nice without it, but with it it’s really special!

If you’re one of those people who has been terrified of wallpaper, this next paragraph is for you. 🙂

Wallpaper in 2017 is a whole new animal. It’s nothing like vintage paper that takes forever to remove (I am still somewhat traumatized from the painted-over wallpaper in our last home). These days it’s easier than ever to install AND remove. So easy that some of the time you can do it yourself (or at least remove it yourself if you don’t want to do the install). And there are countless new options that look super modern. So give wallpaper a chance.

Thank you so much for reading! I am beyond grateful to have you here. xx – Elsie (and Collin, too!)

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson and Collin DuPree. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photography: Amber Ulmer.

 

THE PANTONE COLORS THAT WILL BE TRENDING IN 2018

From powerful pink to minion yellow, these are the hues you can look forward to seeing in home design next year.

By Kelsey Koss

Courtesy of Pantone

We’re still wrapping our heads around how to use Greenery (the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year) in every single way possible, and already, we have more inspiration to ponder for the year ahead. Behold: The 2018 color forecast is here.

At the International Home + Housewares Show, Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman revealed what color and design trends we can expect next year, and there seems to be something for just about everyone.

“Metallics we know are classic, but they have really moved over into neutrals,” Eiseman said. She also predicts a continued infatuation with iridescence, since “the human eye can absolutely not avoid” anything pearlized or translucent.

Another standout trend will include a movement to intense colors rather than pastels — music to the ears for bright color lovers.

“Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days,” she said.

Ready to start color scheming for 2018? Read on for the eight palettes you can expect to see next year.

Courtesy of Pantone

Resourceful: A palette made up of complementary blue and orange colors. “This is quite an interesting color combination,” said Eiseman. “It combines warm and cool tones that you just can’t avoid looking at.”

Verdure: Vegetal colors like Celery are combined with berry-infused purples and eggshell blue, symbolic of health, in this palette.

Playful: Think “Minions.” Bright yellow, lime popsicle, and all other things fun come together for this color scheme. “People need to stop and smile,” said Eiseman.

Discretion: Playful’s alter ego. Subtle hues such as Elderberry and Hawthorne Rose offer a new sense of strength. “Pink has developed more power than ever before,” said Eiseman.

Far-fetched: With warm, earthy hues such as Cornsilk Yellow blending with rosy tones, this palette “reaches out and embraces many different cultures,” said Eiseman.

Intricacy: A palette of neutral metallics (AKA, the “new neutrals”) with accents of dramatic Holly Berry red and yellow Sulfur.

Intensity: This is an eclectic mix of colors that evokes a sense of strength, power and sophistication, all balanced with black and gold.

TECH-nique: Bright turquoise, pink and purple colors anchored with Brilliant White and Frosted Almond nod to technology. This palette is all about hues “that seem to shine from within,” said Eiseman.

 

 

 

A BRIGHT KITCHEN RENOVATION IN SILVERLAKE

 

When LA-based designer Amy Sklar was growing up, her family moved every few years. “The homes ranged in style from mid-century modern, to a 100 year old clapboard home,” she recalls. “That exposure created in me real appreciation for a wide range of architectural and interior styles. And there was also a chance to redecorate my room every few years, which I fell in love with! That ability to reinvent, and ultimately find my own style.” Today, she’s able to do that for other people — a career that she calls a dream.

Today, we’re showing off some of Amy’s latest work. This home is located in the super-cool Silverlake area, and the space is just as on-trend as the neighborhood itself. From totally transforming the kitchen to installing new floors throughout, this is a home we’d love to live in. Amy tells us more:

Hi Amy! We’d love to know a little bit about the clients. What was their vision, and what was your priority when starting the design?
My clients were a family of 4, with 2 young daughters. They love to cook and entertain, so we really wanted to update the kitchen to make it easier to work in as well as create more flow between the kitchen and the rest of the home.

What condition was the home in when you started?
There was a low ceiling in the living room, a crumbling kitchen counter and a kitchen window that look directly onto a neighbors patio….not a lovely view.

Yikes! Okay, tell us a bit about how you transformed the space. 
We vaulted the living room ceiling, to make that room feel more spacious and welcoming, as that is the first room you enter when you walk in the front door. Then we enlarged and arched the opening between the kitchen and the dining room, taking what had been a standard 36″ door and opening it up to nearly 6′ wide! We then arched the newly enlarged opening to match the arch on the opening from the living room to the dining room, so that it feels like the new opening has always been there.

With any project, there are bound to be hiccups. What were the biggest challenges with this property?
Ah yes, hiccups! On this project, the biggest hiccup was that when we went to vault the ceiling in the living room we found that the central ridge beam was not centered on the space! So, we had to make the decision to either drop the vaulting and relocate the beam to center it, (which would have lowered the overall height of the ceiling) or leave the beam off center and keep the height. In the end we went for keeping the height, and leaving the beam off center, and I think it looks great! It really adds a dynamic element to the space, and looks like it was meant to there!

Do you have a favorite room or feature in the house?
I love the kitchen, and the major amount of light we were able to borrow from the dining room by enlarging the opening, that transformation was so huge!

Finally, LA is known for great home goods. Where are some of your favorite local spots to shop?
I am a major Lawson-Fenning fan, I ALWAYS find something in either of their two locations — Silverlake and Melrose — plus they are lovely people! I also love Nickey- Kehoe, they have the most well, curated shop, and make incredible custom furniture! And for dreaming, Galerie Half, it’s like walking into an art gallery, just stunning.

SUMMER PORCH INSPIRATION: GREEN FRONT DOORS

Written by 

Hello again! Dawn here, from AD Aesthetic, and I’m back with another mood board for your decoration inspiration. This time of year, it seems that everyone has curb appeal on their minds. I recently saw a few inspiring photos of homes with bright green front doors, and loved the bold color so much, that I decided a green door moodboard was in order.

Green Front Door Inspiration

Before I get to the moodboard though, let me share a few of the photos that I found so inspiring!

DOOR COLOR: ASPARAGUS BY OLYMPIC
IMAGE SOURCE: HOOKED ON HOUSES | PHOTO CREDIT: DEBORAH WHITLAW LLEWELLYN

 

DOOR COLOR: FRESH APPLE BY BEHR
IMAGE SOURCE: BEHR 

IMAGE SOURCE: DECORATE 101 

DOOR COLOR: SASSY GREEN BY VALSPAR
IMAGE SOURCE: THIS OLD HOUSE | PHOTO CREDIT: DEBORAH WHITLAW LLEWELLYN

IMAGE SOURCE: BETTER HOMES & GARDENS 

DOOR COLOR: BUCKINGHAM GARDENS BY BENJAMIN MOORE
IMAGE SOURCE: HGTV | PHOTO CREDIT: KIM CORNELISON

DOOR COLOR: TRADD STREET GREEN BY DURON
IMAGE SOURCE: SOUTHERN LIVING | PHOTO CREDIT: HECTOR M. SANCHEZ

DOOR COLOR: QUARRY BY PRATT AND LAMBERT
IMAGE SOURCE: SOUTHERN LIVING 

IMAGE SOURCE: OPRAH.COM | PHOTO CREDIT: TAHVORY BUNTING, DENVER IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

IMAGE SOURCE: TEMPLE AND WEBSTER | PHOTO CREDIT: THE SOCIETY INC.

Are you ready to paint your front door yet? I’m seriously considering it. Here is the moodboard I put together for my own green door:

 

Green Front Door Mood Board Sources

(contains affiliate links; learn more here)

Door | Pillows Chairs
Brass Handset Porch Light | Planter
Doorbell | Brass Kick Plate | Doormat
House Numbers | Blue Candle | Pink Candle

Painting a front door is one of the easiest ways to add a ton of personality and a fresh dash of curb appeal to a home. If green isn’t your color, you really can’t go wrong with any brightly colored front door! Add in a few complimentary accessories, like throw pillows and updated house numbers, and your porch will be looking brand new in no time.

For this space, I chose accessories that carried a bit of the green from the door color, but mixed in turquoise and a few pops of bright pink for contrast and visual interest. The warm pink against the cooler greens and blues really stands out and gives the whole scene a fun and welcoming vibe.

To help the pink blend in a bit, I chose warm brass toned metals for the door handle, house numbers, kick plate, and door bell (probably my favorite thing on the whole moodboard!). All together, this porch has a cool, beachy, vintage vibe, but with a modern twist that would give any home a great dash of curb appeal for sure!

How do you feel about bright front doors? Would you go green, or do you prefer another hue?

As always, thank you to Cassity and the Remodelaholic team for having me back each month. I’d love for you to visit me over on my site, ADaesthetic.com, or follow me on FacebookPinterest, or Instagram for more updates and inspiration. Have a great day, friends!

 

5 Ideas to Increase the Value of a Basement

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann

The basement doesn’t just have to be a space to throw all of that extra storage. Show it as usable space, and it may even help you increase the value of the home. Basement remodels typically recoup about 70 percent of their costs at time of resale, which can add a tremendous amount of value to your home.

Making it the coolest room in the house may not be too difficult either. After all, basements tend to stay cooler during the summer months, making this an ideal place for the family to hang out when the weather heats up outside.

1. Create an In-Home Theater

Basements not only are typically cooler than the rest of the home, but they’re also usually darker. For that reason, they’re an excellent place to add a theater to watch movies on those hot summer nights. Best of all, you don’t have to do a complete basement remodel, with costs around $50,000, to gain this space. A TV mount costs around $250, while built in seating costs around $840 – $1,680. (Just be sure for safety to completely waterproof the room before running wires through the basement.)

2. Make a Children’s Play Area

Basements are often neglected areas of the home, used primarily for storage and not much else. So why not turn your unused basement space into a new playroom for your kids?

Start with the staircase. Most basements have only partially finished staircases so installing a new one will help make the space more comfortable as well as safer. Next, ensure that you have egress windows installed, and that the basement is fully waterproofed. From there, you can carpet the floors to make the space more comfortable, and move your children’s toys downstairs to make more space in their rooms.

3. Create an Adult Entertainment Space

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann

If you love to entertain, consider building a bar into your basement. Basements are already the ideal place to install a wine cellar, so why not take it a step further and put in an entertainment area and bar for parties as well? Basements that walkout onto patios can be the ideal place for summer entertaining, giving guests a way to get in out of the heat or a summer rainstorm. Consider putting in a tile floor to give the room a finished look and keep the floors easy to clean. Match the bar countertop to the color of the floors for a fresh, stylish appearance.

4. Create a Garden Utility Room

If you spend any time out in the garden, you probably know about the dirt, tools, and pots that accompany this hobby. Basements are a great place to install a utility sink and counter, and to store all of your garden paraphernalia. Installing a french drain and a hose will make cleanup a snap, while shelving placed just beneath the windows will give your plants a place to sprout before you take them outside for the summer.

5. Create a New Family Room

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann

Family rooms often get even more use than the more formal living room, so family rooms in a cooler basement can get a lot of use during the summer months. Basements finished as family rooms may be coveted by homebuyers too, giving you the maximum return on investment. This includes not only tiling or carpeting the floors, but also putting up drywall to complete the walls as well. Consider adding a suspended acoustic ceiling to help insulate the basement from the sounds above, while making the rooms more attractive at the same time.

 

 

Creating the Ultimate Guest Room: How to Make Guests Feel Right at Home

By Tara Mastroeni 

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

The ultimate guest room helps your guests feel incredibly welcome. Image: LKW Design Associates

Figuring out how to design your own interiors is one thing, but for some reason, when it comes to putting together a guest room, decisions feel extra important. Every host wants their guests to feel comfortable. In addition, there’s a little bit of pride at stake. The ability to offer particularly plush guest quarters is a status symbol.

That said, the question becomes: What does it take to create a great guest room? Which features will make your guests feel most at home and leave them talking about how much they’ve enjoyed their stay? We’re here to help figure that out.

We’ve put together a guide to creating the ultimate guest room. Read on to learn our best tips and tricks for how to set up your extra bedroom. Keep them in mind as you work on your own space and we guarantee your guests will think they’ve checked into a five-star hotel.

Leave some extra blankets in case someone gets cold. Image: Weiss Architecture Inc.

The ultimate guest room needs temperature options

Everybody has their own sleeping preferences. Some people need their bedroom to be ice cold and others would rather burrow under a mountain of blankets. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get an adequate night’s rest when we’re unable to create those conditions.

Most guests would rather spend their night tossing and turning than disturb their hosts by asking to adjust the temperature. That’s why it’s so important for guests to be able to make their room hotter or colder at will.

To do this, focus on the type of bedding you provide. Choose sheets and blankets that create light, breathable layers. Then, keep a couple heavier covers on hand so guests can access them. Aside from textiles, be sure to include a fan for those who like the room to stay cool.

Leave a basket of fresh towels for your guests to use during their stay. Image: Dreamy Whites

Include fresh towels

At some point in the visit, your guests will need to freshen up. Rather than make visitors ask for clean towels or carefully raid your linen closet, purchase a separate set of towels and leave them in the room when guests arrive.

There are ways to make your linens work double duty. In addition to their intended purpose, you can incorporate them as part of your overall design. Be sure to choose a set of towels similar in color or pattern to the other accents in the room.

Make sure there’s plenty of lighting on the bedside table. Image: Accouter Group

Add bedside lighting

We’ve all experienced a moment where we’ve tripped over friends’ furniture in the dark. Instead of making your guests navigate unfamiliar surroundings after turning the light out, include bedside lighting in your guest room.

As for how to pick the right fixture, consider both style and size. Obviously, you want to choose an option that matches your desired aesthetic, but it’s also important to make sure that the lighting is proportionate to the area. Abbe Fenimore, the designer at Studio Ten 25, says this interior design mistake is all too common. She recommends taking measurements of the area where your lamps will be before heading to the store.

If you have a little extra money to spare, you could also consider purchasing lighting that comes with extra features. Think about choosing dimmable lamps so guests can choose their own lighting level. Lamps with outlets in their base are also a good choice because they allow guests to easily charge their electronics.

Provide entertainment in case your guests wake up early. Image: Bee’s Knees Design LLC

Provide some entertainment

This is one of those features that will set your guest room apart from others. It’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep in unfamiliar territory. Most of us are prone to either lying awake at night or waking up at the crack of dawn. Rather than having your friends twiddle their thumbs while they wait for an acceptable time to get out of bed, the ultimate guest room will provide guests with entertainment.

Instead of automatically adding a TV, consider choosing forms of entertainment that can add to the décor. For example, something like the coffee table books in the picture above. Magazines are another good option.

Use these tips to create a guest room your visitors will love. Image: Blue Ocean Design

Putting together a guest room comes with a little extra pressure, doesn’t it? In addition to wanting your guests to feel welcome, there’s something satisfying about knowing you’ve created an impressive setup. If you’re looking for ways to wow your friends and family, check out our guide to creating the ultimate guest room. Follow our suggestions and we’re sure that extra bedroom will be so nice your visitors won’t want to leave.

Which features do you think are important in a guest room? What tips do you have for making guests feel at home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.